UPDATE: Justin Morneau placed on disabled list with wrist injury

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UPDATE: Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN in Minneapolis reports that Justin Morneau has been placed on the disabled list. Twins general manager Bill Smith classified it as “a short-term thing,” but Morneau’s left wrist will be immobilized for the next 10 days.

The Twins will not announce a corresponding roster move until tomorrow, but early speculation is that Tsuyoshi Nishioka could replace him on the active roster.

6:40 PM: Justin Morneau’s wrist hasn’t responded to a cortisone shot as hoped, and he’s likely to wind up on the disabled list, the Star Tribune’s Jim Souhan reported after talking to him in the clubhouse Tuesday.

Morneau took about 20 swings in the cage today, but obviously, he continued to battle some soreness.  He also saw a hand specialist today, though the outcome of the examination isn’t yet known.

The only bit of good news for the Twins here is that Joe Mauer is due back this week to help replace Morneau in the lineup.  Still, they really need both healthy and hitting if they’re going to climb back into contention in the AL Central.

With Morneau out, Michael Cuddyer figures to serve as the full-time first baseman.  The Twins will remain short-handed in the outfield with both Jason Kubel (foot) and Denard Span (concussion) sidelined.

Jim Hickey steps down as Cubs’ pitching coach

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The Cubs announced on Tuesday that Jim Hickey has stepped down as the pitching coach due to personal reasons. The club will begin a search for a replacement.

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said in a statement, “Jim Hickey notified us yesterday of his decision to step down as pitching coach and leave the organization for personal reasons. We thank Jim for his season with the Cubs and his positive impact on our pitchers. Jim has our full support and we all wish him well.”

Hickey, 57, spent over a decade as a coach in the Rays organization before joining the Cubs for the past season, reuniting with Joe Maddon. The Cubs’ starting staff ranked 10th among all 30 teams with a 3.84 ERA and the bullpen posted an NL-best 3.35 ERA.